Sudanese protesters demand ’immediate’ move to civilian rule


Sudanese demonstrators march with national flags as they gather during a rally demanding a civilian body to lead the transition to democracy, outside the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

Thousands remained encamped outside Khartoum's army headquarters overnight to keep up the pressure on a military council that took power after ousting veteran leader Omar Al-Bashir on Thursday.

Al-Bashir "set up an elaborate political-security system that only he was capable of running", and now they're "struggling with the conundrum of how to maintain consensus among a divided and militarized elite, and meet enough of the demands of the protesters to have a modicum of legitimacy".

He said that the council has chose to review the country's diplomatic missions overseas, and to relieve Sudan's Ambassador to the United States Mohamed Attal-Moula Abbas and Sudan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Mustafa Ismail.

But the protesters have vowed to remain in place until the military council demonstrably accepts its demands.

Sudanese protest organisers have presented demands to the country's new military rulers, urging the creation of a civilian government, the group spearheading demonstrations said.

The new leader of the Military Transition Council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has promised to hand over power to a civilian government within two years.

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"The ministry of foreign affairs is looking forward to the global community to understand the situation and to support the transitional military order to achieve the Sudanese goal of democratic transition", the ministry said in a statement.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Arabia's King Salman, has reportedly ordered an unspecified package of aid for Sudan that includes petroleum products, wheat, and medicine. The demonstrations eventually led led to the end of Bashir's three decade rule of the African nation.

The interim military council leading Sudan says it will work with opposition parties and activist groups to restructure the country's government towards civilian rule.

Last month, Middle East Eye revealed that Gosh had held secret talks with the head of Israel's Mossad in Germany in February as part of a plot hatched by Israel's Gulf allies to elevate him to the presidency if Bashir was toppled from power.

Burhan also pledged that individuals implicated in killing protesters would face justice and that protesters detained under a recent state of emergency would be freed. Protests sparked by price hikes on basic commodities erupted in December and quickly grew into a popular movement against the regime of Bashir.

Protesters modeled their movement on the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 that swept leaders from power in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen. They have incorporated many of its slogans, and established a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum earlier this month. In Egypt, the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013 and authorities have since cracked down hard on dissent.